Good weather during the 2016 autumn prescribed burning season have allowed fire management crews to complete 83 per cent of proposed burns in the Mount Lofty Ranges.
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, CFS, SA Water and ForestrySA crews completed 15 of 18 burns in the high-risk region, burning 520 hectares of public lands.
Statewide, a total of 4000 hectares of public land was treated in 33 separate operations.
The onset of widespread rains last week means further burning is unlikely until spring, as fuels are now too wet to burn successfully.
The State Government carries out a programme of prescribed burning each autumn and spring, which is part of a broader five-year rolling programme.
Prescribed burning has long been recognised as the most effective and economic way of reducing bushfire fuels on a large scale. This reduces the spread and impact of bushfires on communities and the environment, and provides earlier containment options for firefighters.
The weather plays a significant role in whether prescribed burns can go ahead – excessive rainfall and very hot, dry and windy conditions reduce the number of burns that can be done.
The rolling programme means non-completed burns can be carried over to the next year.
For more information visit www.environment.sa.gov.au/firemanagement/Burns_and_bushfires
Quotes attributable to Environment Minister Ian Hunter
This Government recognises the important role prescribed burning plays in our preparation for bushfires – not only did we create the programme, we have increased it each year.
Last spring was challenging for crews due to high rainfall in September and the onset of extremely hot weather from early October; then the hottest October on record meant fuels dried out rapidly, resulting in some proposed burns having to be postponed.
This April’s cool, dry weather meant our fire management crews had particularly good conditions to work with, especially in the high-risk Mount Lofty Ranges.
It is important that prescribed burns only take place when weather conditions mean they can be conducted safely and effectively.
I applaud our fire management experts and highly-trained professionals for their careful and meticulous planning and execution.